New to Dallas - need some recommendations around Lakewood
We just moved to Dallas from California and need to begin to establish our turf. We live in Lakewood and I'm looking for recommendations on a few categories. We're mostly focused on neighborhood places, delivery/take out, and family friendly places... we've got 2 little ones and need to eat around that constraint. We'll come back for recs on fancy places the next time we get a babysitter
Specifically, I'm looking for:
- Wine shop
- Pizza place
- Mexican food (I know Matt's; looking for additional finds)
- Great sandwiches
- Any other local places that fit the description above
I have a small child as well, so I can give you some good recs.
Wine shops -
I love the Whole Foods on Greenville between Belmont and Richmond. Good specials and a small but decent selection.
I also love Central Market. They have a good wine department with premium selections as well as the basics and give a 10% discount on purchases of 6 bottles or more.
Tom Thumb supermarkets also do the 10% discount and that's a great place to stock up on your basic bottle of wine to have around.
The Sigel's on Greenville just north of Central Market is a good place for more premium wines.
Pizza - alot of people swear by Scalini's in the little wedge-shaped center just north of Abrams and Gaston.
My favorite is Piggie Pies. They are near Central Market and they do deliver. YUM!
Mexican food - Cantina Laredo is overpriced and I'm not a big fan. Across Central on Knox is Chuy's. Chuy's takes a hit on Chowhound, but it's a great place to eat with kids and I really like their food and it's reasonably priced. I think people get down on it because it's not "authentic", but it's pretty similar to Matt's. Basic TexMex with a few Austin twists.
No clue on sandwiches - it's sort of an eternal search around here.
Other places we like to eat are Teppo on Lower Greenville for sushi - go early and you'll see a ton of kids.
Royal Thai in the Old Town shopping center just north of Central Market is good for kids who will eat a bit more adventurously (we just get chicken satay for a "kids meal"). It's not really Lakewood, but it's pretty darn close.
Angelo's near Matt's is Italian. I find their sauce a bit sweet, but it's a good family-friendly place with reasonable prices and they do take-out and have good pizza.
Kitchen 1924 in that same area wants to be kid-friendly and encourages you to share your meal with your child, but the food is really not that great for a picky kid and the atmosphere isn't really that family friendly. It's also a bit pricey - at that point I'd rather just have sushi ;>
Dixie House is great southern cooking. I love Dixie House and it's very family friendly.
Also across Central just south of Knox is a hamburger place called Chip's. Good with kids.
On Knox is Wild About Harry's which is a hot dog and custard place. It's tiny, but they have great hot dogs and the custard (kind of like ice cream) is yummy. Parking is kind of a pain, but it's completely kid-friendly and a good place for when you just want to get out of the house, don't want to spend much, but don't want to eat at a fast food chain.
The Tipperary Inn is at the corner of Skillman and Live Oak. It's an Irish pub. The food can be hit or miss, but it is kid-friendly and you can get a good beer with your meal ;>
Wow, that's high praise!
I thought of two other places on the east side of the lake.
Alfonso's is at Northcliff and Buckner. Good Italian, good pizza, great for kids.
Also, the Highland Park Cafeteria reopened in Casa Linda. I grew up on the place when it really was near Highland Park on Knox Street and it's just good basic food. Don't let the lines fool you, they move quick. Love the carrot raisin salad, fried fish and we still stand in line and hope we can snag an "end piece" of the chocolate cake (more icing). It's not gourmet - southern home cooking is the best way I can describe it, but I like having a few places in my pocket where I can just go eat dinner rather than have to cook it myself and not end up at someplace gross like Applebee's. (There is an Applebee's near me and every 6 months or so we lose our minds and go because it's cheap and it's really close and we're tired. And every time, the only thing to recommend it is a big glass of really cold beer for three bucks.)
OK, that caps it, dalaimama. You're pretty much on top of the scene. I'm hard pressed to add anything other than a resounding agreement.
Most of what I have to say other people have already said, but let me repeat some of the more important stuff for emphasis.
The Centennial in Lakewood is pretty good for liquor, but if you can spare the 10 minute drive (maybe more in rush hour), Sigel's on Greenville is ABSOLUTELY your best bet for wine, as well as for other things. Their beer selection isn't great, but you can always pick up beer at Central Market, which has one of the best selections in town.
Dixie House and the Highland Park Cafeteria are great for kids, and the Cafeteria is fantastic - a real Dallas establishment. Their desserts have fallen off since reopening, unfortunately (they used to be some of the best in the city, but no longer), but the brisket, fried fish, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and squash casserole are all great. The HPC's a pretty unique place - if you make a habit of eating there, you won't regret it.
Wild About Harry's is awesome; Harry's Favorite Sundae changed my notion of what a sundae should be.
Somebody else mentioned Brothers' Chicken, and that, too, deserves reiteration. Fantastic livers (for the grown-ups), and rock solid drumsticks.
Two places that haven't been mentioned are Keller's, on Garland east of Buckner, and the Dairyette, on Ferguson east of Buckner. I guess maybe those are far enough afield from Lakewood that they won't be of much use to you (you do, after all, have Burger House). But the Dairyette, in particular, is a great place for kids - it's an old-fashioned drive-up (not thru) with what might be the best milkshakes in Dallas.
Great Sandwiches can be found at Jimmy's Food Store @ Bryan and Fitzhugh
I usually get the Italian Stallion, Italian Beef, or the Cuban. All are reasonable and made fresh. Jimmy's has a small eating area at the front of the store, but if you would like that can pack them to go. I would also try out their salami, cheese, italian sausage and meatballs, all are excellent!
A great to go fried chicken place that I really love is Brothers Fried Chicken on Gaston @ Fitzhugh. They have a very similar recipe to the former famed Chicken Shack in Waco, TX. They have huge pieces and it is classic southern fried chicken. Not really a place to sit and eat but great nonetheless.
I suppose if you are getting into Knox/Henderson then Snider Plaza is in the area. Kuby's would be my choice for German brats, cold cuts, and has a great restaurant that is attached. I think it was fun when my parents brought me here when I was small. Sometimes on the weekends they have a live accordian player playing Alpine polkas
Same shopping center Doughmonkey is a great place for baked goods/sweets....it is highly addictive though.
For the weekends...a bit of a drive from Lakewood but Yummy Donuts on Lovers just past Douglas (south side of Lovers, East side of the Tollway). Awesome donuts and apple fritters....inexpensive for the size!
Burger House is a hang out for Lakewood soccer moms. I love their burgers (they have a special seasoning salt on them) and chicken sandwich. Several locations
Mexican food...best bet is along Grand Ave....kinda rough looking but there are some great places. I like Mis Cazuelas on Columbia Ave or Main St (more quiet and a bit larger). I bought tamales last week at La Popular and they have gone up quite a bit $9.00 a dozen they were good but best bet is to get the green chile/chicken ones at Central market...about $7.00 a dozen close to the rotisserie chickens! I also like Mexicali Restaurant close to the Lowe's on NW Hwy & Jupiter....it might be close to the style of Mexican that you had in Cali.)
http://mexicali.4mg.com/home.html (Turn on the pop up blocker before you hit this website
I would suggest more "Mexican" places but not sure if you are looking for Tex-Mex or "Mexican"...big debates on these boards.
In that case since you are willing....try out the Tacos Y Mas at the intersection of Greenville/Ross. They have tacos and tortas (sandwiches) to go and a very good. There is also a stand just off Grand Ave & 30 whichever is closer.
Cuquitas on Henderson has an awesome version of the simple corn tortilla and are know for this. They also have a wide array of dishes if you can get past the corn tortillas.
If you want a simple snack for the kiddos...might try out the Dallas Farmers Market on the weekends for free fruit samples also try out the Fiesta on Ross for a elotes en vaso (Roasted Corn in a Cup) about $1.25 - $1.75. I like it as a snack and you can customize it.
Alligator Cafe has great cajun food and even have a kids menu. I have never really tried anything other than the crawfish gumbo and the housemade root beer.
Deep Ellum has two great foodie kinda places Rush Pastisserie and Mozzarella Cheese Co.
http://www.rushpatisserie.com/ kinda like DoughMonkey just not in a ritzy part of town
http://www.mozzco.com/ The place for fresh cheese if you want to stay in the city...otherwise check out http://www.localharvest.org and make a weekend trip outside the city to go get some local organically grown produce and cheese
Might want to check out some other recs I provided on a previous post
For Cheeses....I got carried away yesterday and listed just about all the producers in Texas for fresh cheese....I think there are a few more but here you go!
Also this place behind Jimmy's Food Store is awesome to talk about locally grown organic produce, great array of wild mushrooms imported from the NW, huge selection of fresh herbs, and even truffles (rare in Dallas) . Tom Spicer @ Spiceman's FM 1410
Someone posted about Kuby's in Snider Plaza (near SMU). Great for breakfast and on weekend nights they have an accordian player.
Also in Snider Plaza I'd recommend Cisco Grill, Peggy Sue BBQ and Amore. All owned by the same family and very family friendly. Cisco is sort of like Friday's but with really good food ;> They offer a good selection of burgers and salads as well as some Tex Mex, but they also have really nice entrees and surprisingly good crab cakes.
Amore is good Italian/pizza but I'd recommend calling for a reservation that day or you'll have a looooong wait because it's hugely popular. They do such a boffo take-out business that they have a side door for the take-out crowd.
I second Burger House and also near that on Mockingbird is Big Shucks which is good for fried fish. I like to sit outside on a nice night and have the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. Plenty of picnic tables so the kids don't really have to sit still.
If you're going as far as Snider Plaza from Lakewood just for hamburgers, try Ball's, which is on Rankin Street, just off Hillcrest. Great family-friendly atmosphere, and they will split a burger for you if you want to share one (they're tasty and good-sized, but not too thick). Good shakes and iced tea there, and some of the best thin, crisp french fries in the city.
Here's a few more for ya...
Mexican - Sols Taco Lounge at Mockingbird/Abrams - very casual and kid friendly and fresh.
Burgers (i know you did not mention burgers but good for kids)- Burger House on Mockingbird (btwn Abrams and Skillman)
Wine - Sigels on Fitzhugh/Cole close to Central - good wine bargains to be had there.
Sandwiches - Jersey Mikes Subs - on Greenville (close to Lovers) - not super close to Lakewood but worth it.
Pizza - I think there is a Lovers Pizza in the Casa Linda shopping center? I like the original location at Lovers/Inwood and never tried this location but worth a shot.
Somtimes I just overlook Jersey Mike's b/c I eat there so often and I consider it a chain but with only two locations in Dallas...not really a chain....awesome subs!
Also in the Casa Linda Plaza there is Highland Park Cafeteria....one of the best cafeteria's in Dallas. I am sure they are kid friendly there also. Recently re-opened to the delight of the "blue hairs" (not to be mean) of the area!
There was a post that had The Wine Therapist as a good source for wine. Next to Tipperary Inn on Skillman.
I haven't heard to much blurbage on Franki's Lil Europe in the same Casa Linda Plaza. It has been there for years so it must have something good going for it! I have never been but might see what the boards produce!
Coupon for Franki's - 20% off 2 adult entrees
Franki's Lil Europe
Been only once. Was turned on b/c they have a three course meal for twenty dollars. But the food was a letdown. The soup tasted and had the consistency of a powder mix. Overall the food was very, very bland and overcooked. The menu had a bunch of items that sounded good, but from my first and only experience, I can only assume my expectations would be a letdown. The place has so much potential, but with a kitchen that seems to love to take shortcuts, I would never recommend this place to a foodie.
That was always on my place to try out. Now I know Jorg's, Kubys and sometimes Bavarian Grill are tops for German/Austrian. That is if you don't feel like making the treck to Muenster or Granbury. The Center in Muenster has brats and items from Fischers. Neisters in Granbury is very good according to my parents who eat there frequently and have been to all the places here in the metroplex.
The last meal we had at Franki's, a couple of years ago, was terrible. I tried one entree, then another. Both were inedible, and I ended up having nothing but a small salad for dinner. The "crab cakes" were like hockey pucks! Never again will I venture there -- which is sad, because there are so few places to dine in Casa Linda as it is.
Unfortunately the very best German-Austrian restaurant in Dallas -- Hofstetter's -- closed up a few years ago. Their veal wiener schnitzel, crab cakes and other schnitzel dishes were to die for! We still go to Kuby's and to Henk's (behind the flagship Half-Price Books store on Northwest Highway) for pork schnitzel, though.
Off the topic but, I remember the Hofsetter's on Lovers it was excellent. A substitute for the veal weiner schintzel can be found at Jorg's in Downtown Plano....it is very similar in taste and tenderness.
I went to Henk's recently with my wife for lunch and we got the special Sauerbraten and she got the brats. Sauerbraten was terrible, just roast with a somewhat sour brown gravy and the sausages tasted like Kuby's (since both of them probably have the same recipe). Also we had their Swiss Madrissa cake b/c I read about how popular it was and it was probably the worst cake ever. The jellied fruit didn't lend to much to the taste or the dry sponge cake. I prefer Kuby's over Henk's and Jorg's over Bavarian Grill.
I've probably eaten at Hofsetter's/Spargel Cafe at least 30 times and never had a bad meal. It was one of my go to restaurants in the nabe. A lot of people were disappointed when it closed.
I used to go to Henk's when it was run by the original owners who were Austrians. No more. Their food would have to get better just to get to mediocre.
the original owners of Henk's were Dutch and the current owners are their children....Henk worked at Kuby's for I don't know how long , but something on the order of 25 years. They have been expanding both their hours and number of menu items......I think Henk's and the bakery are terrific....judging from the number of Europeans who eat there , others agree with me .
Soulslinger, you always make great posts, but you've got a little misstep in this one. Wine Therapist is a HORRIBLE place for wine. It might be OK as a place to go and drink wine, but their selection stinks.
In addition, their policy is a 20% discount if you take the wines to-go for off-premise consumption. My brother went in the other day to get a wine to go and the lady at the counter didn't give him the discount. When he popped her on it, she kinda stammered around trying to think of an excuse as to why she didn't give him the discount.
If I lived in Lakewood with 2 kids , I'd be in and out of the Highland Park Cafeteria all the time ........great home cooked food.....come to think of it , I'd be all over HPC , kids or no kids ...
I see one recommendation for the Wine Therapist. I think that would probably be the best in Lakewood. I have been there on a couple of occasions and was reasonably impressed with their selection. As with most places in Dallas, the prices were a bit inflated. I agree that Pogo's is excellent. I personally like Chateau Wine Market on Travis. I think they have the best selection of small production wines. They, too, can be expensive but the owner, Amier, definately knows his stuff. Great wine tastings there as well.
As for restaurant recs, I would agree with the sandwiches at Jimmy's. It is a great Italian market that East Dallas is blessed to have. I would also second the recommendation for Alligator Cafe. In terms of burgers, I would recommend Twisted Root in Deep Ellum.
It's been a while since I last was in Lakewood, but, kids or no kids, Cafe Brazil on Lower Greenville was always a nice walk-to place for Sunday breakfast....
I would also suggest Big Shucks, the seafood place on Mockingbird. It's big and noisy, there's a huge outdoor patio, and kids are welcome. Menu includes fried-fish and fried-shrimp baskets as well as healthier seafood plates with rice and veggies, plus clam chowder, gumbo, oysters, crab, etc.
Has no one suggested Calle Doce? It may not be THE best, but if you tire of the typical fair, they have a big mexican seafood menu. I love the huachinango. There's no playground but I think it would be fine for kids during lunch, the decaf hours or even later. Patio too. Corner of Skillman and Live Oak. For pizza, Campisi's is a little different, and I'd guess they deliver to Lakewood. If your wine needs cant' be met at Central Market, I'd agree Pogo's at Inwood and Lovers is a good bet, not too far if you're already out.
If you've moved to Lakewood, you're in good hands. There's a lot to offer in the way of diverse dining choices.
Jimmy's for a Cuban sandwich or a muffaletta -- not to mention their wide variety of Italian specialties and groceries -- the best in DFW!
Scalini's for pizza and crab claws -- on Abrams.
Angelo's for Italian dishes -- sure you've found that if you know about Matt's.
El Taquito Cafe (Samuel Blvd. @ Grand) for the best salsa (and hottest) and chips in the DFW area -- plus it's inexpensive and decent Tex Mex.
La Acapulquena for some authentic mariscos and Mexican specialties.
Jade Garden on Bryan St. for Chinese (excellent and cheap!)
Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant on Bryan St. (the original Vietnamese restaurant in Dallas) -- excellent.
Alligator Cafe on Live Oak near Carroll for Cajun and Louisiana specialties.
York Street (on Lewis St.) for upscale hoity-toity dining $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
Gold Rush Cafe on Skillman for killer breakfasts.
Mac's BBQ on E. Main St. for good Texas BBQ.
La Calle Doce on Skillman for top-shelf Margaritas!
Bangkok City (the original) for excellent Thai.
~Bon Chance mon ami!
Yikes! I would not recommend Mai's. It is horrible food wise and service wise. Yes, this is super cheap Vietnamese but they skimp terribly on ingredients and leave things out of the dishes that should be in there. You will never find any Vietnamese eating here (that includes the staff).
For Pizza, I would recommend Pulcinella. I ate there last nite and the pizza was very good. Very thin crust, just enough toppings (it is the anti-Fireside Pies pie), fired in a very hot Italian Pizza Oven, etc.
We had the Greco pizza, which was topped with very salty feta, roasted red bell peppers and a drizzle of honey. It was different and delicious.
I have a heard that a Wine Shop is going in next to Pulcinella (I'm a kid from the neighborhood).
I'm a big fan of Cafe San Miguel, which is also hon Henderson. Excellent regional Mexican.
The Grape is a really fabulous Neighborhood Wine Bistro. I love what Brian Luscher has done. His food smacks you in the mouth will full-flavored deliciousness.
I also enjoy Los Arcos. Don't ask me why, but I enjoy the food. They have 3 salsas, a red, a green and a roasted tomatillo salsa, and I think all 3 are awesome.
Jimmy's makes good sandwiches and so does Central Market (Lover's and Greenville). Yum.
While I haven't eaten at The Alligator Cafe, I've heard very good things about the food.
Hope that helps.
re: Epicurious Esquire
Great recs, but the OP should keep in mind that Pulcinella and The Grape are not small child friendly. Pulcinella does have a cheese pizza for kids on the menu, but it's not really a family place. Louie's has excellent food (not just pizza) but it is a bar so it's great for date night!
Fish City Grill is great for kids.
Also, while there are better seafood places, we do love Big Shucks on Mockingbird for dining with kids on a nice day (in fact I just made plans to go next week). We get a group and sit on the patio (a fenced parking lot). The kids can run around a bit and not disturb people and we can drink beer and eat Mexican shrimp cocktail. Not fancy, but inexpensive and fun. Burger House is next door and they do good burgers. Sort of fast food but better. Again, yes there are better burgers, but it's nearby and kid-friendly and inexpensive.
Don't take your children to Olivella's across from SMU. The kid pizza is 12 dollars and only has cheese on it (and not much of that).
For oysters, I would recommend Fish City Grill. Much fresher and cleaner tasting than Big or Aw Shucks.
I don't think anybody has mentioned Louie's for pizza. D-lish.
Also, Cafe San Miguel is some of the better Regional Mexican in Dallas. I haven't been in a while (I'm pudgy and generally stay away from high calorie food), but my recollection is that it is excellent.
I am a big fan of Vietnam (Peak and Bryan) for quick, easy Vietnamese. The various noodle soups are all good enough.
No doubt the best wine store in Dallas is Pogo's. However, that's a bit of a drive from Lakewood. I find the Goody-Goody's on Lower Greenville to have a nice enough selection at fantastic prices (for instance, Gruet is $12.99 or so a bottle and at Central Market it's $16.99!!).
We are Lakewoodians with small kids, and I wholeheartedly endorse the recommendations here. One sandwich place to mention: Corner Market at the corner of Greenville and McCommas. Good for eat-in or takeout, it is attached to a flower shop and Society Bakery -- amazing cupcakes and petit fours. Welcome to the 'wood!
I have called, emailed, and pleaded and still have not found anyone who has a menu for Corner Market. I would like to try it out but my friend is very picky for lunch and I need to show a menu before I can convince him to go. I live in Lewisville work in Preston Center so taking a picture is out of the question since I don't live in the "hood" or frequent the area for lunch.
Pulcinella is is very child friendly place. The Kiddos have there own menu, they keep on had DVD players and the owner absolutely loves kids. That is not to say things do not change as the night gets later. So they have created a Kids eat free policy Tues and Weds, from 5 to 7.